Trees Outside The Academy
The other night we went to see Sonic Youth play Daydream Nation. The week before, I’d hopped freight trains and hitchhiked from San Francisco to Portland. What do these things have in common? Let me tell you a story.
I skated the Klamath Falls park. It’s in the middle of nowhere. A mile or two outside of Klamath Falls proper, which is already fairly in the middle of nowhere. That night I camped out on the hill near the park, up the road from the jail. The stars came out in wild bursts and the wind whistled through the tall grass. I was alone. The coyotes began to whimper and howl, running through the underbrush. I took out my knife and waited. I walked warily around by moonlight. I thought I might at any moment be set upon by the pack of coyotes. They came close, but never close enough. The coyotes were the grim specter of death in the wilderness.
Daydream Nation is two decades old. You know what I hear when I listen to it? Nostalgia and tinges of regret. The twin specters of age and encroaching death. Twenty years? How could time have gone by so quickly? How did I get so old? What have I accomplished? I wish I could have fought those coyotes.
Anyhow, Thurston’s solo stuff is pretty okay. It’s not Sonic Youth. It’s stripped down, un-noisy. I wonder if in twenty years I’ll listen to this and remember today’s existential crises fondly. Seriously, I want to go back and fight those f—king coyotes.—Andreas Trolf